Over the past three years, the number of private rental properties has effectively halved as landlords are increasingly selling their properties, research reveals. Estate agents have reported a decrease in buy-to-let investors who are using them to manage their property, in addition, there are less landlords who are entering the market.
According to research conducted by Propertymark on 443 estate agents: Figures dictate that in March 2019, an estate agent would have 30 properties to rent on average, it has since greatly diminished, as by March 2022, that figure lied at 15.6 properties on average.
The drastic fall in private rental availability is due to landlords selling their homes. 94 per cent of estate agents said that this was the reason that they could no longer manage a property, rather than the landlord deciding to turn it into a short-term let – through services like Airbnb.
As well as this, the number of landlords withdrawing from the Private Rental Sector (PRS) has greatly increased, those who withdraw are largely converting into owner-occupiers. Statistics show that the average number of privately rented properties sold was 9.6, only 4.5 of which were bought by buy-to-let investors, meaning that less than half of those properties are returning to the market.
Comparing those statistics with the reason why landlords no longer require PRS management shows that 1.4 per cent of landlords who withdrew their property from their management company wish to change over to the short term let market. The vast majority (94.1 per cent) of withdrawing landlords did so to sell their property.
The picture painted by these figures is one that shows a decrease in available properties and an increase in competition, which could serve as an opportunity for more seasoned landlords.
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